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Join us for a set of vibrant events this summer
This season, we’ll host morning writing workshops, retreats and events delighting in summer’s warmer weather and longer days.
We’ll write about places, with a particular focus on the city. Join us for workshops on bookshops, parks and streets, and a season exploring the world around us as well as the landscapes of the imagination.
Tuesday 8 June (7.15-9am)
We kick off our season with a fun workshop about lovely strawberries! Inspired by a wonderful set of strawberry poems, we’ll write with us about these bright red and juicy summer fruits, about making jam, and picnics. Bring along a punnet!
Thursday 10 June, 7.15-9am
The new moon in Gemini offers an ideal moment to socialise and share ideas. And the perfect place for making connections with others is the café! In this workshop, we’ll consider coffeehouses as social hubs and artistic centres. Expect to write about teaspoons and chatter, pastries and gathering with friends.
Tuesday 15 June, 7.15-9am
Parks are excellent places to soak up the sunshine, fly kites, play football and stroll with dogs. In this morning writing workshop, we’ll read stories set in parks and write about green spaces, wild heathland and urban parklets.
Thursday 17 June, 7.15-9am
The world is full of wondrous spaces; from makeshift eco-squats and colourful artists’ studios, to derelict factories and dated shopping centres. Each space we traverse is rich in memories, connections and possibilities. In this workshop, writer and guide Saira Niazi, will explore the ways in which spaces can inspire us to write.
Tuesday 22 June, 7.15-9am
For Independent Bookshop Week, we’re hosting a workshop all about bookshops. We’ll celebrate booksellers, write about the soothing and stimulating experience visiting our favourite book spaces, and revel in the glorious smell, colour and texture of books.
Thursday 24 June, 7.15-9am
This workshop will take inspiration from Jean Rhys, whose novels and short stories are populated by young women on the margins of the city, adrift and full of yearning. We’ll write about being a stranger in a place, and the kindness of strangers, too.
Summer Retreat I
Tuesday 29 June, 7.15-9.30am
Bring your work in progress or some ideas to explore and write as the light lifts – in the company of a friendly group of writers. You’ll be surprised at how much you can do in just two hours!
Tuesday 6 July, 7.15-9am
A bold morning writing workshop about the city as a site for protest, exploration and rule breaking. Academic Gerda R. Wekerle said “A woman’s place is in the city,” and this session will consider how cities have allowed women to tread their own paths.
Thursday 8 July, 7.15-9am
Who lives next door to you? Who’s tapping on your wall? Love (not) thy neighbour? In these socially turbulent times, who we live next to and how we treat each other have renewed importance. In this workshop led by poet Hannah Lowe, we will use poems about neighbours and neighbourhoods, past and present, as a stimulus for our own writing.
Tuesday 13 July, 7.15-9am
Pigeons are friendly and curious, and bring life to otherwise bleak urban landscapes. They inhabit virtually every city in the world, living alongside humans and other animals. Able to deliver medications and messages in remote areas, they are the oldest domesticated bird. Join our workshop taking inspiration from these oft-maligned creatures!
Summer Retreat II
Thursday 15 July (7.15-9.30am)
Another chance to bring your work in progress or some ideas to explore and write as the light lifts – in the company of a friendly group of writers.
A Sense of Place
Tuesday 20 July (8-9am)
Described as “uncanny and brilliant,” Gemma Seltzer’s new short story collection weaves in memories, encounters and ideas from her London wanderings. Join Gemma in conversation with Sarah Butler, author of ‘Jack and Bet,’ for a free event celebrating a sense of place and the publication of Gemma’s book, ‘Ways of Living.’
Thursday 22 July (7.15-9am)
Railway stations and airports. Bus stops and riverboats. This workshop will focus on journeys taken through cities, the art of waiting and observing a place, and why so many writers love trains.
Tuesday 27 July (7.15-9am)
Ann Petry’s bestseller ‘The Street’ (1946) is a novel about streetlife in the city and the experiences of being black and a woman in 1940s Harlem. In this session, we’ll explore the book and take inspiration from writers who put place at the heart of their work.
Thursday 29 July, 7.15-9am
Bridges are transitional and in-between spaces, where pedestrians and vehicles travel from one location to somewhere else entirely. They are ideal locations for drama and dreaming. We conclude our summer season with a final session considering walking, imagination, writing and place.